Quotes for Peace

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestine

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

This is a follow up to my last post. My look back at 2008 was quite long; I had a lot to say, particularly as the situation with Israel and Hamas was developing. It has now escalated further and I’ve been extremely disturbed by the violence and the scenes coming out of Gaza.

The civilian deaths yesterday were some of the worst I have seen and have been weighing heavily on my mind today. I’ve been reading through several of my collections of quotes about war and peace and I thought I would share some of my favourites. It is my plea for peace to both sides.

Feel free to share a favourite quote or any you think are appropriate. Let’s hope the violence ends soon. It has cost too much already.

* * * * * *

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?”
~ Eve Merriam

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.
~ Dorothy Thompson

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.
~ Jawaharlal Nehru

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
~ Oscar Wilde

Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence, confidence, and justice.
~ Spinoza

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.
~ John F. Kennedy

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
~ Albert Einstein

True power is when we have every justification to kill, and don’t.
~ Oscar Schindler

I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.
~ Helen Keller

We have war when at least one of the parties to a conflict wants something more than it wants peace.
~ Jeane Kirkpatrick

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
~ Franklin Roosevelt

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
~ William E. Gladstone

10 thoughts on “Quotes for Peace

  1. I think Israeli needs to hear and remember the Oscar Schindler quote.

    I think Hamas needs to hear the Jeane Kirkpatrick quote.

    It’s all very sad.

  2. It’s an awful situation, isn’t it? And the UN has just suspended its aid operations in Gaza now as well because of the danger to its workers. Chaos. But I guess war always is.

    The quote I like best is the Oscar Wilde one. I think that could apply to both Israel and Hamas at the moment… and maybe to the world as we watch as well.

  3. It is descending into the unimaginable now….did the world not learn from what happened with Iraq? At least the demonstrations are getting into full swing…good on Annie Lennox…and she is married to an Israeli so she has a stake in this really

  4. magikquilter,

    It’s scary, isn’t it?

    What frightens me is that none of the demonstrations seem to be helping. Israel is not listening. I actually wrote to Israel…someone in defense. Not that I expected my one little email to matter (okay, well honestly maybe I imagined it would. I’m kind of delusional).

    But anyway. I agree Israel has a right to defend themselves. I do NOT like Hamas.

    But Israel is going way too far. They really scare me.

    My only hope is that MAYBE Obama will do something. He seems level-headed. Maybe he can talk sense into Israel without alienating them.

    Bush government + Israel = SCARY BAD THINGS

  5. It’s hard to know what’s going on, MQ. For the first time Israel seems to be indicating that it’s close to achieving its objectives and might pull out soon; yet at the same time there’s been some of the fiercest fighting since the conflict began… and it might only escalate further in the coming days.

    It just keeps getting more confusing, with civilians caught in the middle… it’s an awful situation. Perhaps the demonstrations are adding pressure and I hope there is a resolution soon… this conflict has cost so much already.

    Dina, just picking up on what you said about the demonstrations, what’s really frightening me is the way they’re being depicted at times. If you demonstrate or even just say you want peace then often you’re labelled as being anti-Israeli; you’re marginalised and your voice is meaningless. It’s like you have to be on one side or the other; can’t you just want peace?

    I’m like you, I see Israel’s side in this as well… I just think it’s gone too far and I don’t approve of civilian casualties when there are other options available. Maybe Obama will try a different approach when he takes office… and to think we came so close to peace in 2000.

  6. cjwriter,

    I think part of the problem is that SOME of the demonstrations are very anti-Israeli. There has also been anti-semitism. People have shouted stuff about sending the Jews back to the ovens.

    My feeling is that the people who are demonstrating are on two opposite extremes. They completely support Israel and the horrible things they’re doing in Gaza. Or they’re very much against Israel period–not just what they’re doing, but the fact that they’re in existence period.

    I think there needs to be more people demonstrating (or speaking out) for PEACE.

  7. Dina – I think the problem with any demonstration is that it can be hijacked by extremists looking to cause trouble and that can make it seem much worse in the media. The London protest had 20,000 people attending before it turned violent but there were actually only 3 arrests, which I think shows that most people just wanted their voices to be heard and weren’t anti-Israeli. That was true for the demonstrations in Sydney and Canberra as well, which were peaceful.

    There’s definitely a core group of people on both sides that are hard-liners, though, and you’re right, that’s where the problem lies… they’re the instigators and the comments being made about Jews at some of the rallies and online are just awful. It’s been a long time since I’ve come across such hatred.

    I don’t know, it’s difficult to say whether this is helping or not. I think that without any public pressure then it’s less likely there will be an end to the conflict; but can anyone say that more protests won’t make the situation worse in the long run?

    I’m with you, I think more people just speaking out for peace is the best thing overall. A number of British Jewish leaders published an open letter to Israel calling for a ceasefire yesterday… that may bring more results than any of this, in the end.

  8. Hi CJ,

    My favorite: Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.
    ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

    I have read some books on reincarnation lately and we, Earth, might live some “real” peace in some thousand years from now…..Peace is from the inside and out…Hope, I will come back and live in this era

    I believe that Barack is a peaceful person lets just hope that many others leaders follow him…

    Take care, CJ…

  9. It’s a beautiful quote isn’t it, CV? I’ve always had a lot of respect for Nehru; I thought he was a worthy heir to Ghandi and it’s something I try to do myself. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people. Words to live by. 😉

    It’d be nice to think that some day we might have some kind of peace in the future, a paradise where war, disease and poverty would be things of the past… I suppose the problem is that while there is greed and ambition in the world, there will always be the conditions that will create those things… the future has to be made in little steps… perhaps we’ll get there, in time.

    Obama looks like a good leader and I think that’s what we need right now, someone who understands the power of diplomacy. I’ve been impressed by him so far; let’s hope the rest of the world will follow him too.

    Many blessings to you, CV, as always. 😉

  10. Peace is a great thing, but I think it will never be achieved in our worlds structure.
    To be honest with all of you, I think the reason for wars, poverty, etc.. is something democracy brings to the table. With democracy we have competition, although I believe competition is good, it will never be a beneficiary for peace. Those who succeed will cause others to fail, those who fail will grow hungry, frustrated, and maybe jealous. With that we start to slowly shift away from peace, and come closer to what we have today. Democracy is great, but everything has a downside to it. I believe that’s why there’s such tension in the middle east.

    With Israel’s great success, and Palestinian’s failure after it’s attempt to exterminate the Jews, peace is far from being achieved. There’s a reason many Arab nations in the middle east don’t accept the Palestinian’s and shelter them. It is very sad that the kids and civilians are dying, but as someone in the past has said; “Peace in the middle east can only be achieved when they learn to love their children more than they hate ours.” I lived in Israel for a great portion of my life, I can guarantee you that they are people capable of peace. Mother’s want nothing more than peace there, as watching their kids walk away in uniform in such a dangerous part of the world isn’t something they want to endure.

    By the way, the quote by Nehru is nothing but the truth. That’s the key to true peace; we have to achieve it on an individual level before we can start speaking of world peace. It only takes one spark to cause a fire.


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